Vassilisa: Statement-Making Luxury Scarves
In a country where the size XXXS exists and boutiques carry a standard “one size”, presumed to fit all shoppers, it not only becomes frustrating, but utterly intimidating to shop in Tokyo. Nonetheless, every now and then all women need some retail therapy, and although leather pants may not be in the cards for some, other elements of fashion are easier to find. From major department stores to back street boutiques, Tokyo has no shortage in the accessories department. As a leader in fashion trends, Tokyo offers unique accessories from new designers and prevailing fashion brands that will set you apart from your friends back home. Here at Savvy we want to introduce you to the designers making waves across the globe and where you can find their designs here in Tokyo!
One of the hottest labels in luxury scarves is creating buzz here in Japan. London based brand, Vassilisa, is bringing fairytale-like beauty to fashion editors and celebrities such as Kate Moss, Cate Blanchett and Gwyneth Paltrow. The beautiful squares of mythological designs can be seen on fashion spreads featured in numerous publications including Vogue, Elle, WWD and Tater. Each scarf is designed to accessorize women in the same way as a majestic piece of jewelry. The latest fall/winter collection is both contemporary and innovative in design and color combinations. Paired with basic denim and a leather jacket or worn elegantly over an evening dress, the versatility in the Vassilisa scarf is facilitated through the luxe materials and edgy designs.
Savvy sat down with Central Saint Martin’s’ alum and Vassilisa designer, Nadja Solovieva, as she walked us through her latest collection and gave us the scoop on her design philosophy, how she got started in the luxury accessories business.
Can you give us the history behind Vassilisa? How did it get started?
Nadja: I started trading in 2008. I graduated in 2007 from Central Saint Martins and my collection was selected for the press shows, and from then I began getting inquires. In 2011 I received the British Council launch pad award for new designers. We also do an exhibition at the London fashion week.
Did you work for any other fashion houses before started your own line?:
Nadja: When I graduated from CSM I was still relatively young when and worked for only one year with the design team for Alexander McQueen and Vivienne Westwood.
Scarves seem to be your signature item, what made you decide to concentrate on scarves and do you plan on expanding the brand with more items?
Nadja: I started with dresses they were the “ Vassilisa the beautiful” style concept, mythology, themed, very flowy and colorful. The scarves were originally just the scraps from the dresses, they draped beautifully and I loved them. The VOGUE editor called it her “Russian love” on a blog post and from there, the brand became known for scarves.
What is your design process? Where do you find your source of inspiration?
Nadja: I follow the Central Saint Martin’s method. I have a brand identity that sets the frame “Vassilisa the beautiful”, so they must be beautiful. I do not source from current trends or secondary sources; I focus on primary sources such as history or things that are not yet in fashion. Creating a more timeless product. I regularly visit historic archives, the Victorian and Albert Museums and national galleries, and from there we use the sketchbook method.
Do you start with a new theme each collection?
Nadja: Customers want to see something new each season but they love to see the same ideas turning over. The Vassilisa signatures are prints of fur, jewelry prints, and collage effects that achieve a more modern appearance.
What are the main materials used to make a Vassilisa luxury scarf?
Nadja: We are a member of sustainable fashion and use primarily Cashmere modal, silk and Silk chiffon.
Where can our readers purchase a beautiful Vassilisa scarf? Where are they sold?
Currently they are sold online. You can buy them from the online Tokyo store called: www.aila-japan.com
Also available online at these sites: Vassilisa.com, Laso.jp